Odell names Kenneth W. Clair Jr. acting Emergency Services Commissioner as Sutton retires

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has named Kenneth W. Clair Jr. Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services (BOES) after the retirement of the current Commissioner Anthony W. Sutton. The change will be effective Tuesday, Sept. 5.

“Kenneth Clair’s knowledge, experience and passion have made him an asset at the Bureau for decades,” said Odell. “I know that with his capabilities, he will successfully lead the Bureau through this transition.”

Prior to becoming Deputy Commissioner, Clair served in the Bureau a Deputy Fire Coordinator for nine years. In addition, he has served as Assistant Fire Inspector in Southeast from 1997-2003 and more recently as the Emergency Preparedness Officer for the Town of Southeast from 2003-present. He is a New York State Fire Prevention Officer and is National Incident Management certified.

A lifelong Brewster resident, Clair has been a volunteer fire fighter for the Brewster Fire Department for more than 25 years.  He is also a former Brewster Fire Chief, Past President of Putnam County Fire Association, a member of the National Fire Protection Association, New York State Chiefs and Putnam County Chiefs Association and currently serves as a Fire Commissioner in the Brewster-Southeast Joint Fire District.

For his commitment to fire prevention and education, Clair was honored as the New York State Fire Educator of the Year in 2010 and was a recipient of the Michael Neuner Fire Prevention Award.

“I’m excited to lead the Bureau of Emergency Services in Putnam,” Clair said. “I thank County Executive Odell for her confidence in me, and for giving me this tremendous opportunity. I have spent my entire public service career preparing for this role. I pledge to work hard every day to protect the people of Putnam County.”

Odell named Sutton as Emergency Service Commissioner in March 2015, after a selection committee comprised of first responders interviewed the candidates and narrowed down the field to the finalists they thought best fit the position. The legislature approved Sutton as Commissioner in May 2015.

“I appreciate the devotion Commissioner Sutton has shown the Bureau during his tenure and thank him for his service to the people of Putnam County,” said Odell. “His steady hand and calm demeanor helped the county through a difficult period. Under his leadership, the Bureau has enhanced its effectiveness to provide prompt and efficient emergency assistance to residents and visitors of Putnam County. Comm. Sutton restored relationships with the Sheriff’s Department, police departments and all of the first responder organizations.”

For Sutton retirement is bittersweet.

“I’m both excited and saddened to leave my post,” said Sutton. “It has been my distinct pleasure to serve County Executive Odell as commissioner of Emergency Services. She set the bar high, but was there at every turn to support the Bureau and help us face the challenges.”

Sutton thanks the elected officials that made sure he did his homework by asking the hard questions before approving BOES projects, initiatives and budgets. He also grateful to members of the Fire Advisory Board, Emergency Services Advisory Board, Putnam County Fire Chiefs Association, 911 Committee and the other associations, committees and organizations he worked with.

“It has been an honor to work with Putnam’s fire fighters, EMT’s and police officers,” Sutton said. “I am forever indebted to the administration staff, the dispatchers, the Deputy Fire coordinators, special teams and all the other volunteers that I have had the honor to work with during my tenure at the Bureau. They have made my job easier and more enjoyable.”

Chairwoman of the Putnam County Legislature Ginny Nacerino recognized the efforts of Sutton and the ability of Clair.

“We have been very fortunate to have Anthony Sutton serve as our Commissioner of Emergency Services,” Nacerino said. “Tony’s wealth of insight, experience and caliber has vastly improved the department and services during his tenure. I wish him all the best in retirement.”

She added, “I support passing the torch to Ken Clair and have him serve as our Acting Commissioner,” Nacerino said. “As Deputy Commissioner, he has proven to be a proactive and effective leader. I am confident that having him at the helm, he will continue in Tony’s footsteps to raise the bar and work in earnest towards improving and protecting the lives of Putnam County residents.”

Sutton is satisfied knowing the Bureau will be led by Acting Commissioner Clair and Deputy Commissioner Robert Lipton.

“They have my total confidence and make it comfortable for me to hand off the baton of leadership,” Sutton said. “I will truly miss the entire Putnam “Team” and will always remember my time here fondly.”

Photo Caption: Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services Ken Clair

Tilly’s Table is Ready for your Reservation

Tilly’s Table is Ready for your Reservation

Tilly’s Table is taking your dinner reservations now, for dinner seating that will begin Friday, Sept, 8. The restaurant, located in the lodge on the county-owned Tilly Foster Farm in Brewster, will highlight organic and locally sourced ingredients. After the grand opening, Tilly’s Table will continue to be open Friday and Saturday nights for dinner starting at 5 p.m. On Sundays, it will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Brunch specials will be offered on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“Over the summer the county unveiled its partnership with Homestyle Caterers at Tilly’s Table and the beautiful craftsmanship the county’s highway and facilities department put into the renovation to the lodge so it could be used as an event venue,” County Executive MaryEllen Odell said. “The response has been incredible. Now Homestyle Caterers is ready to officially open its restaurant part of the operations. Patrons can come in any enjoy a delicious dinner or brunch on the farm.”

The menu features organic NY Strip Steak, Alaskan King Salmon, fresh Maine lobster and many more scrumptious cuisines. The side dishes and salads will use organic kale, quinoa, romaine lettuce and potatoes.

To make a reservation or to plan your next event at Tilly’s Table, call 845-808-1840.

Bogey finds a home with Putnam golf pro

MAHOPAC, NY – A stray dog found at Putnam County Golf Course in July was adopted by its in-house golf professional Jim Woods through Putnam Humane Society.

Staff at the golf course found the 35-pound Beagle-Labrador mix wandering around the course and then by the carts. After catching the dog swimming in the pond, Putnam Humane Society was called. With no identification tags found on him, the nonprofit decided to name him Bogey a golf term meaning one-over par, to recognize where he was found.

“Everyone at the golf course hoped that his owners were going to be able to find him,” said Woods. “But we kept an eye on him through the humane society’s website.”

Jim Quinn, the shop manager at the golf course, wanted to take him but already had two dogs that he did not think would get along with Bogey. Woods, who lives in Stormville, contemplated it, but kept his consideration to himself.

About two weeks later, Woods approached his wife Lisa about the possibility of adopting Bogey.

“She would take every dog in the pound if she could,” said Woods. “We are already parents to Bunker and I was the one who needed to ready to take on another dog.”

Bunker is a 14-year-old Labrador. Bogey is believed to be 8 or 9 years old.

On Monday, July 31, the Woods went to Putnam Humane Society to spend some time with Bogey. Then after deciding together that he was meant to join their family, came back on Saturday with Bunker.

“They hit is off from the start and by Saturday night we took Bogey home with us,” Woods said.

Michele Dugan, president of Putnam Humane Society, is pleased whenever a match can be made.

“We are very happy that Bogey was able to find a new home,” Dugan said. “All of the dogs that come in are assessed by a trainer so we can identify the right family for each one. Bogey is an amazing dog and Jim and Lisa are great people.”

Bogey was almost adopted by someone else.

“We did have a volunteer approved to adopt Bogey, but she was going on vacation and was not going to be able to take him until afterwards,” Dugan said. “When she found out that someone else was willing to adopt the dog earlier she was willing to let him go.”

Woods thinks it was meant to be.

“I thought that it was cool that he was found on the golf course and I always wanted a dog that wanted to come to the dog course because Bunker is scared of people,” Woods said. “And I would have named him Bogey.”

When filling out the application to adopt Bogey, one of Woods’ reference contacts was Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, who could not have been happier to throw her support toward the union.

“I am a supporter of Putnam Humane Society and all of the work that they do,” said Odell. “There are so many rescued pets that need homes that it is always a joy when you can help a family come together. I know that Jim, Lisa, Bunker and Bogey will all bring each other a new sense of fulfillment by being together.”

While Bogey is still adapting to his new home, Woods is already looking forward to bringing him back around the course.

“I will bring him around in the fall, when he understands that I am his master and there are less people around,” Woods said.

This winter, don’t get left out in the cold…

This winter, don’t get left out in the cold…

With the cold weather slowly setting in, the Putnam County Office of Consumer Affairs would like to remind you to use licensed and registered tradesmen for all of your home repairs.

All too often, especially during the winter months, Consumer Affairs receives complaints from residents regarding sub-standard work performed by unlicensed or unregistered tradesmen, on boilers and other heating systems.

When it is cold outside, and the heat goes out, consumers tend to look for a quick, economical solution and many are forced to agree to repairs, not knowing anything about heating systems. Consumers have to trust that the technician is telling them the truth and most times, the consumer doesn’t have time to get a second opinion or doesn’t have the luxury of shopping around.  Often times, consumers end up looking at price and availability as top priorities for hiring servicemen. Also, consumers forget to get written estimates and signed contracts. Finally, at the urging of the repairman, consumers are tempted to save money by paying cash up front.

While entering into service work agreements can seem like a good idea at the time, the Office of Consumer Affairs asks consumers to consider this:  When you hire a Putnam County licensed/registered tradesman, know that the person you are hiring is insured and bonded and had to go through the rigors of becoming licensed, including in most cases, testing to verify they are qualified to perform trade-specific work.  Through this process, the licensed tradesman is invested in his commitment to the residents of Putnam County.   And while there is no guarantee that all jobs will go off without a hitch, if something does go wrong, in many cases, the Office of Consumer Affairs can assist the consumer in finding a resolution.

When consumers do not get a signed contract for proposed work or fall into the trap of paying cash up front as a means of saving money, they enter into a he said/she said situation. Consequently, should problems arise, consumers have no proof of either agreements for work or payments made.

Therefore, the Office of Consumer Affairs’ recommendation to all homeowners, aside from keeping warm this winter, is to always ask if a tradesman is licensed/registered in Putnam County. If the answer is yes, ask to see the license. Each tradesman is given an identification card complete with photo. Ask for written estimates and get signed contracts. If paying cash, get a signed receipt for payments made. Hopefully this advice will help to keep our community safe, warm, and scam free this winter.

For questions or concerns, or for a complete listing of Putnam County licensed tradesmen,  contact the Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs at (845) 808-1617 or visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/consumer-affairs.


National Preparedness Month Observed for Fourteenth Year; “Prep Rally” Teaches Children How to Be Safe

BREWSTER, NY — Hurricane Harvey, like others before it, shows how challenging—and yet important—it is to plan for emergencies. This September, National Preparedness Month focuses on planning. The overarching theme is “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.” In Putnam County, the 14th annual observance is being promoted by the Putnam County Community Resilience Coalition (CRC), composed of agencies from the public, private and non-profit sectors that work year-round to build a strong foundation to ensure the safety and well-being of children before, during and after disasters.

“The safety of Putnam residents is always our county’s top priority,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Collaboration among many organizations makes this happen—emergency responders and our Bureau of Emergency Services, law enforcement, highway department workers, social services and the health department. When it comes to our children, the most vulnerable members of our community, we do everything we can to ensure their safety and protection. Building community resilience is crucial.”

To teach young children about emergency preparedness—in a fun, non-threatening way—the CRC has spearheaded efforts to bring the “Prep Rally” to after-school programs and daycare centers throughout the county. Created by Save the Children, the free program is designed to teach children, grades pre-K to 5, the basics of emergency preparedness through fun, engaging games and activities. By practicing a catchy song and dance called the “Prep Step,” children learn how to recognize risks, plan ahead and gather emergency supplies.

“Supporting the work of the CRC helps strengthen our infrastructure and our resilience,” says interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “The first step is to plan for yourself and your family. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Create a list of emergency contacts and share them among family members and close friends. Adding to, or updating your emergency supplies at home, is another easy step. These are simple things nearly everyone can do.”

Taking these initial steps is much easier with some online help at www.ready.gov and www.savethechildren.org/getready, which has all of the resources for the Prep Rally program, including tip sheets for parents. A super simple tool for families to write an emergency plan is the “Preparedness Wizard” from The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Find it at http://bit.ly/prepwizv2.

“Getting accurate information during an event is also important,” says Anthony Sutton, Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services (BES), “You can sign up for free local and state emergency messages from NY Alert.” Real-time information about current threats can be sent to a cell phone. You pick the alerts you want and delivery by email or text. You can cancel or change at any time. Your personal information is completely protected and never shared. Sign up at www.nyalert.gov.

“Residents who want, and are in the position to do more, should consider joining the Medical Reserve Corps,” says Dr. Nesheiwat. “We still need all types of volunteers, both non-medical and medical. Help is always needed in particular with logistical support or administrative tasks.” Interested residents can find out more information by visiting the Putnam County website or calling the health department at 845-808-1390.

Emergency Preparedness Training Wednesday, October 18th || 6:00 p.m.-7:30p.m.

Are you and your family prepared for an emergency?

This training course will provide an introduction to
responding to a natural or man-made disaster.
Each participant will receive a certificate, a Z-card and
learn how to make an emergency preparedness kit.

This is a free event, open to the public. Registration is required.
Putnam County Composite Squadron
This event is hosted by Civil Air Patrol.

Call 845-225-8585 or register online @ www.kentlibrary.org
Kent Library, 17 Sybil’s Crossing, Kent Lakes, NY 10512

Raccoon Test Positive for Rabies The raccoon was removed from Putnam Plaza Shopping Center in Carmel the evening of August 14, 2017.

The raccoon was removed from Putnam Plaza Shopping Center in Carmel the evening of August 14, 2017.

Please contact the Putnam County Department of Health immediately if you or a pet had physical contact with the raccoon.

For further information or questions, call:
Health Department at 845-808-1390 (after hours – ext. 3)

Get School Shots Now, Advises Putnam County Department of Health

Brewster, NY- August is National Immunization Awareness Month and back-to-school season is fast approaching! Along with gathering school supplies, parents should also ask… “Are my child’s shots up to date?”

Vaccines are important for children of all ages – from toddlers to students leaving for college. In addition to the recommended shots for more than a dozen serious childhood illnesses, flu season is fast approaching and an annual flu shot is advised.

“Residents can have their children receive free flu shots at school. This Health Department initiative saves countless sick days and potentially devastating illness,” reminds County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

“Vaccinations are the safest and most effective way to prevent serious diseases, and that includes the flu,” says Michael Nesheiwat, M.D., Interim Commissioner of Health. “When children are not vaccinated, they are at greater risk for illness, and can spread disease to others in their families, schools and the community.”

Childhood vaccinations required for school entry protect against potentially life-threatening diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis B, meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough) and chicken pox. Children in day care, pre-K, or kindergarten through 12th grade, who do not meet the immunization requirements will not be permitted to attend school. The complete list of New York State- required school immunizations, as well as Putnam’s school and public flu vaccination clinic schedules are available online at www.putnamcountyny.gov/health  or by calling the Putnam County Department of Health’s Immunization Program at (845) 808-1332.

Teens and college-bound students have other health concerns, including meningitis and cervical cancer for which vaccines offer protection. Parents and caregivers should check with their pediatrician about any vaccines their children need and make an appointment as soon as possible. Children up to 19 years of age can receive the required vaccinations free of charge at the Health Department’s clinics if they meet eligibility requirements. Vaccinations are also available to others for a fee. Call (845) 808-1332 for dates, times and location of clinics.

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day to be held Saturday, September 16th

For more information on sponsorship opportunities contact MaryBeth Ross@putnamcountyny.gov or call       (845)808-1400.

Event Schedule

  • 11:30 United Martial Arts Centers Front of TOPS
  • 12:00 Songs by Belle Front of TOPS
  • 12:00 Balloons by Jocko Front of TOPS
  • 12:15 Jan Berlin’s Everything Animals Auditorium
  • 12:45 Seven Stars School of Performing Arts Front of TOPS
  • 1:00 Magic by Jocko Auditorium
  • 1:45 Songs by Belle Front of TOPS
  • 2:00 Belle’s Story Time and Sing-Along Auditorium
  • 2:30 Save the Children Prep Rally Auditorium


PUTNAM COUNTY SWCD In conjunction with Dutchess County SWCD Present a

The Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation District will be hosting a 4-hour Erosion & Sediment Control Training for Contractors, Developers, Engineers and individuals involved in soil disturbance activities Under the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Stormwater Permit, all developers, contractors and subcontractors must identify at least one trained individual from their company that will be responsible for implementation of the SWPPP, and have at least one trained individual on site on a daily basis when soil disturbance activities are being performed. Also, developers must have a qualified inspector conduct regular site inspections in accordance with the construction general permit. Training is good for 3 years.